Ryan Hoffman will enter a special place in Storm history this Saturday when he plays his 250th game in the purple jersey.
The 34-year-old will become just the fifth player to reach the milestone in the Club’s history, joining Cameron Smith (362), Billy Slater (302), Cooper Cronk (323) and Matt Geyer (262).
He will reach the milestone against Wests Tigers this weekend in the same game Craig Bellamy becomes just the seventh coach in history to chalk up 400 games. The player and coach share a long history together, dating back to the 1980s when Bellamy was a foundation player with the Canberra Raiders alongside Hoffman’s father James.
Hoffman made his debut off the bench in Round 6, 2003 against Manly and by 2005 had earned his place in the second row of the Storm starting side. It was a position he would make his own for six consecutive seasons before joining Super League side Wigan for the 2011 season.
Hoffman would return to the Club a year later to play an instrumental role in guiding Melbourne to Premiership glory in 2012.
In 2015 the veteran moved across the ditch where he played for the New Zealand Warriors for three seasons however with purple running through his veins it seemed only right that Hoffman would end his career in Melbourne.
The favourite son made the decision to return once again in 2018 for his third stint at the Club, where he has slotted straight back in to his customary No.12 jersey for the first four games of the season.
Over Hoffman’s 12 seasons at Storm, he has played in 11 Finals series, four Grand Finals, three Premierships and in 2013 was also made a Life Member of the Club.
Now he proudly sits amongst the greatest players to ever wear the purple jersey having built a career on the foundations of consistency, humility and hard work.
This year Hoffman has also taken on the responsibility of working closely with the Club’s Emerging Leaders in order to usher in the next generation of Storm leadership, a role that further adds to his Storm legacy.
Storm Football Director Frank Ponissi expressed how proud a moment it will be for the Club to see Hoffman wear the Storm jersey for the 250th time;
“Melbourne Storm is a Club that has been built on people like Ryan Hoffman.
“He is everything you could ever want in a player; hard-working, consistent, humble, a natural leader and extremely talented.
“Some of the best moments this Club has enjoyed have been with Ryan Hoffman on the field, he has been an incredible player and an even better person for Melbourne Storm – we are delighted that he has returned home to rightly finish his career where it all started.
“Ryan well and truly deserves his place in the 250-Club at Melbourne Storm.”
Match: Storm v Knights
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park
Born: 26 January, 1984, Canberra
Junior Club: Campbelltown Collegians
Position: Second Row
Rep Honours: 14 games for NSW (2007-08, 2013-2015); 6 Tests for Australia (2007-09, 2012, 2014); 7 matches for NSW City Origin (2006-07, 2009-10, 2012-14)
First Grade Debut: Melbourne Storm v Manly, Brookvale Oval, 20/04/2003 (Round 6)
- Grand Finals: 4 – Melbourne 2006 (L), 2007 (W), 2009 (W), 2012 (W)
- World Club Challenges: 5 – Melbourne 2008 (L), 2010 (W), 2013 (W), 2018 (W), Wigan 2011 (L)
- Fifth most games in Storm history – 249
- No.21 for most games played in NRL history – 309
- Member of the NRL 300-Club
- Melbourne Storm life member (2013)
- Brad Fittler Medal (2014)